The day after photographing nearly 1000 people for the free Mother’s Day portrait shoot in our studio, I packed up 30kg of gear to the Sutera Harbour Marina. YTL’s Pulau Gaya Resort has commissioned us to photograph their executive team who is working round the clock to open the luxurious resort on 1 July.
Well, on Monday, the day we were supposed to do a reccee, conduct a test shoot, work out the wardrobe, I got a call from Jeffrey, the general manager. “Louis, today has to be the actual shoot.” Something urgent came up and we had to bump up the dates. I am walking into a shoot with zero rehearsal. This is a corporate group portrait of 10 very important people, on a yacht, at a new location. Now I am way outside of my comfort zone. Yet, you can’t show it when you are on the set with clients. You’ve gotta hold it all together, think hard, work fast and solve the problem.
The location was the 64-footer yacht named Lumba Lumba (Dolphin) that just got into Kota Kinabalu 1 week ago. I know little about yacht but this is one sexy boat, at least to my eyes. The deck is 5-6 feet above the water. Good thing we have the 12-foot 4-section Manfrotto BAC 1004 stands.
At 4pm, I am pointing my camera towards the sky. While not shooting directly into the sun, we are still balancing the exposure against a very bright sky. Two units of Profoto D1 1000ws lights with standard reflector save the day. I was shooting almost full power at f/16. The exposure has to be spot on as the entire team wore white! You can see a specular light source from the left hitting the faces. That’s the sun.
Location lighting is always fun. Having to figure out the how much ambient light and fill flash should be taken into the shot is a challenge. There is no fixed recipe, only what feels right at that given time and situation. It is a subjective thing too. I thought this shot works out pretty well.